The Science of Fictions (Yosep Anggi Noen, 2019): Indonesia

Reviewed by Diego Riker. Viewed at the AFI Fest 2019.

This film was an interesting one for me, as it left a lot for the viewer to interpret due to its lack of dialogue and long, quiet shots. The film begins with a man (Siman) who accidentally stumbles upon a fake moon landing, where he is caught and his tongue is cut off. He then goes back to his village to try to convince people of what he’s seen by wearing space outfits and only moving in slow motion, like the actors in the moon landing did.

The cinematography is very important in this film, and this combines with the music to create a mysterious feeling in the film, and at times I found myself a little lost on what exactly was going on. This is also what I thought was great about the film, that it forced me to create my own narrative of the film, one that may be completely different from someone else.

The fact that the main character moves in only slow motion throughout a majority of the film really adds to the storyline and makes the acting in this film that much more believable. Towards the end of the film, it seems as though Siman is being appreciated more in his village, and people start to pay him for performances as the astronaut. This could be taken two ways, as the other villagers could be making fun of him, or they could actually be appreciative of his performances.

The director, Yosep Anggi Noen, should be applauded for his combination of cinematography and sound to make this film the visual masterpiece it is. I found myself really appreciating the film after thinking about what I had seen and bringing myself to think of various narratives that I could relate to the film.



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